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Thread: Scout

  1. #141
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    Default Re: Scout

    Quote Originally Posted by MDEnvEngr View Post
    Hey All - happy new year. Finn and the truck are good. This sums it up:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/915072.../shares/5V5521

    Uconn has the best formula sae team - and those are Finn's folks.
    This is coming from someone that has spent a lot of time helping FSAE teams test and tune their cars. It's one of the best ways for a student to get practical hands-on experience with a difficult technical project.

    The thing with FSAE though is that it ebbs and flows a lot. I would say ETS, UofM Ann Arbor, and Oregon State have been the most consistently good North American schools over the last decade. Everyone else kind of moves up and down the results list because the final performance of your car is so dependent on factors outside of a typical engineering curriculum. Teams will be good for a handful of years and then they might fall off a cliff. RIT for example was pretty consistently inside the top ten for almost a decade, even winning the dynamic events at Michigan. They didn't complete a dynamic event in 2019. Cornell used to be the most dominant school in the world and I can't remember the last time they were a factor. UConn might be the best school on that list right now but it's no guarantee that they will be in the near future. In general, teams need 5-6 highly engaged students and a couple extra bits.

    Here are some secrets to success:

    1. you need two and a half good drivers. Two for autocross and endurance and one guy that can get around the skid pad ok. One of the drivers has to be capable of providing consistent feedback for vehicle setup. If your team doesn't have drivers you need to develop them just like any other component of the car. It's important to have an old car to cycle new members thru for driver training/development. Keeping an older car running and maintained is also a good activity for underclassmen to get their feet wet. Don't have an old car? Get a shifter kart.

    2. Get the car done early. Teams that are assembling their car on the way to competition are never successful. You ideally want to have the thing together by the end of the first semester. It doesn't need to be 100% perfect but it does need to be running and driving.

    3. Maintain continuity from year to year. Most teams have the resources to tackle 2 major system redesigns from season to season. If you bite off more than you can chew with technology development you'll never get your car finished in time to test and tune. Looping back to point 1, if you have no experienced drivers you probably won't be successful either.

    4. Don't listen to too much Claude Rouelle has to say.

    5. Make sure you take full advantage of testing days. Have a stable place to test and tune (could just be a school parking lot. could be a sponsor's location. My company opens up our proving grounds to the local schools). Come in with a plan of what you're trying to achieve. I see a lot of kids come and and just fiddle around with various knobs or drive endless hot laps instead of systematically working on their setup. Be respectful of sponsors or chaperons time. Always have a fire extinguisher handy. Always use full safety gear.

    6. Get the basics done first. I've seen a lot of schools fiddle around with minor damper or engine tuning tweaks when their static alignment settings are visibly poor or they have massive compliance in their bearing arrangement.

    7. You need a good fab shop on campus and more than likely access to some fancier machine capacity via sponsors. Putting time into building relationships with the university and local machine shops is worthwhile.

    8. Don't kill your GPA. Formula is fun and encourages long days in the shop. It doesn't matter how smart you are or how good your formula team is. If you have a 2.5 GPA it's going to be tough to get a tier 1 job after graduation.

    best of luck to Finn.

  2. #142
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    Default Re: Scout

    Any updates from East Hampton? This thread has been such a treat!

  3. #143
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    Default Re: Scout

    My brother informed me yesterday that VW now owns the Scout brand and are thinking of rebooting the SUV with an electric one soonish. Kinda cool.
    my name is Matt

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